To start off with let me clarify that by “asshole atheism” I am not referring to “strong atheism” or any other type of upfront atheism. What I am referring to is the belligerent, hateful atheism that smacks of trolls and other types who want to derail conversation or comments at any cost.
I enjoy hearing comments from both sides of the subjects of theism, nationalism or politics, especially from those who have intense opinions. As long as there is a decent conversation, comment all you want.
When I walked among those in the theist and Republican camps, I encountered many who wore the moniker of “asshole” quite often and it was one of the many reasons I eventually came to my senses and eventually embraced agnostic atheism. What shocked me as time went on was finding similar such folk on this side of the fence, although the numbers are lower.
Over the last few years I have been criticized for “liking” comments on my Facebook page made by folks/family on my friends list who make statements stating that their prayer or belief in God has helped them endure a calamity going on in their life regarding health, the loss of a loved one, etc. One fellow unbeliever IM’d me regarding one such post and said I should have replied “You should thank and lean on your doctor and not some placebo God for your return to health.”
Sorry, that is utter bovine fecal matter.
When I “like” such comments, I am not endorsing their religious claims, I am lending my support and/or consolidation for whatever they are going through at the moment. I am letting them know I am thinking about them and I am happy when they feel better. I am showing the good side of humanity.
On another recent thread that was debating on whether or not Jesus was who he is claimed to be by todays Christians. I commented that I believe Jesus was one of many itinerant messianic preachers of the day and that his message was only for those of that current generation.
This was followed by a “supporting” comment that read; “That’s right Ray and these people need to know that Jesus was a faggot and pedophile who through secret documents he gave to his followers has resulted in the child-molesting, homosexual centric group known today as the Catholic Church.”
That resulted in not only in me deleting my comment, but the whole thread and its 200+ comments as well. These type of comments have no use other than to inflame. If that person is really an atheist, then he belongs in the camp with folks like Ann Coulter or the late Fred Phelps who also do little to nothing in presenting data that could show their views in a positive light. He even IM’d me stating that I was a weak atheist.
While I believe the Bible is nothing more than the writings and musings of a long-ago culture who were trying to boost the morale of those who read it, it does have some good points here and there. One of them is Ecclesiastes 3:7 which reads there “a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.”
If one cannot be cordial and can only post hateful and offensive comments then it is probably time for you to “be silent.” Be as strong or forceful you want, but leave the hate at the door.